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Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Rav Na'im Ben Eliyahu ZT"L Stories

This week's Kol Tzofayich contains more stories about Rav Na'im Ben Eliyahu, the brother of Rav Mordechai Eliyahu ZT"L, who just passed away last week.  There are some very interesting stories there not including the one I mentioned last week.

One in particular I found very interesting was the following (my translation):
Rav Shelomo Ben Eliyahu, the Rav of Matei Asher, related the following:
The halachot that a rabbi needs to know, I learned in the Beit Midrash.  The Shimush [practical apprenticeship], I learned from Hacham Na'im.  I could tell over many stories about his wisdom and his cleverness - I will tell over some of them.

Once, an Avreich [Kollel student] came to us and asked "a difficult question". His wife bought meat with the Hechsher of the Rabbanut and cooked it. What did he need to do? Rav Na'im told him, "Throw it all out and Kasher the pots."

I didn't come to teach, but to learn. I was astonished at this answer, but I heard it and internalized it. Two days later, a young groom came to Hacham Na'im's home, and weakly knocked on the door. It was apparent that this was the first time after the wedding that he was asking a halachic question. I opened the door for him and brought him to Hacham Na'im. And he asked the exact same question.  His wife bought meat with the Rabbanut Hechsher and cooked it. What should he do now? Hacham Na'im told me: "You definitely know the answer. Answer him." I told him that he must throw away the meat and Kasher the pot.

At that moment, Hacham Na'im looked at me quizzically and asked, "Is this how you answer a young groom?" Hacham Na'im joined the conversation and told the young groom, "It's Kosher Lemehadrin. You may eat what your wife cooked, and you and me can eat it together." The groom left Hacham Na'im's house and went home happy, calmed, and reassured. Everything is Kosher.

When Hacham Na'im sensed my astonishment, he told me, "You don't understand the difference between that person who asked the first question and the one who asked this question? The first guy already threw out the meat that his wife bought. He was just looking to justify his own Humrot. If you would have told him that the meat of the Rabbanut is Kosher, he would have said that you are Reform. This groom, on the other hand, came to really ask. If you would have told him to throw out the meat, he might have ended up throwing out his wife!"

2 Comments:

At Tue Sep 09, 06:46:00 PM 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

amazing undrestanding of practical halacha

 
At Wed Sep 10, 08:17:00 AM 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enjoyed that very much!

 

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